Many people are surprised at how different they find some aspects of a traditional Spanish wedding. Weddings are a really big deal in Spain, and it is not uncommon for entire extended families, villages, and neighbourhoods to turn out to help a couple celebrate their big day.
Here are some things that you may not know about a traditional Spanish wedding:
1. Spanish Weddings are Huge
You can expect in the region of around 200 people to be present at a Spanish wedding. That’s quite a lot of well-wishers!
2. Spanish Weddings Start Later in the Day
Typically, Spanish wedding do not start until around 7pm. The evening and night is then spent celebrating, and it is not unusual for wedding parties to continue long into the night and into the next morning! The reason for the later starting times is so that people can enjoy weddings outside of the hottest part of the day; come evening the temperature has cooled off a bit and people are feeling more energetic!
3. There Are No Speeches
Speeches are not a common aspect of a Spanish wedding, unlike weddings in many other countries. So this could be a blessing if you are the type of guest who quickly drifts off whilst listening to lengthy speeches from the bride and groom’s nearest and dearest! Some couples may have a few speeches, but it will likely not be the same as other weddings that you have attended in the USA or other parts of northern Europe.
4. There Are No Bridesmaids or Groomsmen
With the influences from other countries, and the stereotype of a perfect international wedding, some couples are starting to include other close friends and family members in the wedding ceremony. This is not, however, part of a traditional wedding in Spain, so don’t be surprised by the lack of other people who are actively involved in the ceremony. It is quite common to see a bride and groom standing alone.
5. The Ring is Worn on the Right Hand
The wedding ring is worn on the ring finger of the right hand by Spanish husbands and wives. This is in contrast to countries that wear the wedding ring on the left hand.
6. Wedding Favours are Personally Given
Rather than a small gift on the table, it is common at Spanish weddings for the bride and groom to walk amongst their guests during the wedding meal, handing out a small gift to each person individually.
The normal position with regards to guests giving wedding presents is that they give cash in an envelope. The amount is entirely up to the guest, but it should be enough to at least cover the cost of feeding and entertaining them for a day. Some couples provide bank details with the invitation so that guests can make direct deposits.
A Spanish wedding is usually a lively and fun-filled time, with lots of dancing, music, food, and drink. A traditional Spanish guitar player may perform, and there will likely be some flamenco at a wedding. The meal can last for a couple of hours, which is a long time to be seated if you can’t join in with the chatter all around you. Keep up the conversation at your end of the table by learning a bit of the lingo before the wedding. Be the perfect guest and join in with ease.
Do you have any secrets about Spanish weddings you want to share? Send them our way in the Comments section below!